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Anywhere to buy laptop with Linux preinstalled w/ disk encryption?


#1

Do any of the companies that sell laptop with Linux preinstalled also do full disk encryption if the buyer wants it, or is that unheard of?

It seems like an option that should be offered by sellers since full disk encryption is such a key Linux feature. I guess the seller could simply provide the buyer with the encryption key at purchase so the buyer could change the key after receiving the laptop?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for where to buy Linux preinstalled laptops?


#2

Good day,

Currently I am not aware of any seller of Linux based systems who encrypts the disk before shipping. However, that is actually a good thing. If the FDE would be applied by anyone other then you, especially a seperate corporate entity you can’t fully trust, it would automatically be worthless, as said entity would have the ability to control the entire encryption process and you should thus consider the system compromised on arrival.

This is why you should always do a fresh reinstall once receiving a system (current gui installer are very easy to use) for maximum security.

As for sellers, there has been Tuxedo as well as the Qubes certified Purism devices: https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/certified-laptops/

Have a nice day,

Ego


#3

Ego,
Thanks for your fast reply. Your point it well taken about the problem of a seller doing the FDE.

The reason I dread doing a fresh Ubuntu reinstall myself is because when I tried it over a year ago with a laptop that was originally Windows, the Ubuntu install didn’t go well at all - Ubuntu just wouldn’t boot. I tried a single Ubuntu OS install, not dual boot. I recall vaguely the difficulties had to do with the Ubuntu boot file(s) not being in the right place on the drive, or some such. After tons of difficult troubleshooting I eventually got Ubuntu to boot, but it never did boot normally, or easily.

Would you say it’s likely that a fresh reinstall would go more smoothly on a laptop that was initially Ubuntu, rather than one that was originally Windows? I’d feel much better about doing the reinstall if that were the case. Or does it not matter which OS you’re installing on top of (as far as likelihood of problems)?


#4

Good day,

I can see why that might make you nervous. However, especially Ubuntu based systems should be fairly trouble free to install. Boot issues should only be possible when you either have a very specific UEFI or you partitioned the system by hand and forgot something like /boot. If you just select a disk and let the installer do everything without intervention, there shouldn’t be an issue.

Have a nice day,

Ego